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Originally published: 2013-07-15 11:19:58
Last modified: 2013-07-15 11:20:42

Our View: Constant need but instant gratification

With summer greenery -- not to mention myriad other colors -- now filling our High Country mountains, you can be excused for letting your thoughts drift to warm outdoor adventures for the next several months.

But there's one vital indoor adventure yet to be mindful of before you drift too far.

The American Red Cross struggles with blood donations each year at this time. In fact, June came in with donations so far below what is needed that ARC has issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types.

Blame it on the nice weather. Blame it on the wet weather. Blame it on the holidays. Blame it on school being out of session -- high school and college blood drives can amount for up to one-fifth of ARC donations during the school year. But in the end, it doesn't matter where the blame falls. The result is too few donations fueling too great a need.

Ironically, the need for blood donations seems to increase during the months that donations typically fall short. Someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds, ARC reports. At that rate, it doesn't take long for blood supplies -- a perishable commodity -- to fall below demand if donation needs are not met.

The ARC does its part. Local blood drives are held frequently and nearby, and while most drives can accommodate walk-ins, on-time appointments can often be made online at http://www.redcrossblood.org. If you're healthy, at least 17 and weigh 110 pounds or more, all you need to do is show up and roll up your sleeve.

Giving blood may not be your idea of the typical summer adventure. But it should be -- it's a journey you can take every 56 days that reaches deep into our community. 

Your next opportunity is July 16 at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock. To make an appointment or to find other donation dates, visit the ARC website.